May 8, 2009: Liesl’s First Thunderstorm

Is it telling that it is good when a doctor is accountable but bad when an accountant is doctoring?

The alarm went off super early this morning which did not make me happy.  I am on the early shift this morning after having worked until after one last night.  Hardly any sleep at all and today is a long day too.

I worked from six thirty until a little after nine.  Not too bad of a morning.  I love this shirt because it is slow and relaxing and that is exactly what I needed this morning.  It gave me a chance to catch up on a few things before we had to hit the road.  Like packing up all of the converted CDs and DVDs to take back to dad’s for storage so that we can take back another giant load with us.

We spent another hour, from nine till ten, packing the X3 as quickly as we could.  There was a lot to squeeze in there.  An HP DL380 G2 server, an HP dx5150 desktop, a bin of media, two suitcases, tons of baby and doggy supplies, a bit stroller and more.  We actually barely fit everything into the X3.  Good thing that we didn’t go for something smaller.  What would we do?

On the drive Dominica and I started listening to Garrison Keillor’s new book “Liberty” which is due out in paperback next month.

The weather was good for a long morning driving.  We were on the road around a quarter after ten or so.  We drove up to the traffic circle on the north side of Peekskill and swung into the Dunkin Donuts there to pick up coffee and breakfast and fuel up the SUV.  Then it was back onto the road.

Liesl was fussy so we stopped into a rest stop on I87 north on the south side of Albany.  I grabbed a small bite at the McDonald’s there.  Dominica was not hungry so she skipped eating to save room for dinner.  Liesl ate and was slightly happier when we left.  We lost forty minutes at the rest stop.

It was about a quarter after two when we rolled in to Frankfort.  I hopped right online and got back to work.  There is a ton to be done today and I am way behind from having been offline for so much of the day.  People were covering me but just catching up on email can be quite the challenge.

A big thunderstorm moved in this afternoon.  Liesl has never really been out in the rain so I took her out and held her standing on the porch so that she could watch the storm with me.  She seemed to enjoy it.  Every so often she would shake when some mist would blow in on her face.  She was not afraid of the thunder or lightning at all.

It was a very busy day for me.  I worked like crazy all afternoon and into the evening.  Because we are going to be gone tomorrow I have to do a lot of tomorrow’s work today which is tough.  So I worked until a quarter till ten this evening.  Then Dominica and I took a quick trip out to New Hartford to go to Barnes & Noble’s because I had forgotten to bring a book with me on the trip – along with other important things that I forgot.  So we picked up the “VMWare Certified Professional Exam Cram” and “History’s Worst Decisions – And the People Who Made Them”.  That way I will have something to read for the next several days while we are out of town.

Then we went to Walmart in the same parking lot to get baby formula and prune juice.  Nothing exciting.

We got back to the Dominica’s parents’ house and I got right back to work.  There was so much to do that I ended up working until around three in the morning.  How awful.  This is really exhausting.  At least I was able to get a lot of work accomplished today.  I will be mostly off tomorrow.  I still have to work all day on Sunday, however.  Then drive to dad’s house after work is done.

January 7, 2009: Liesl’s First News Appearance

It isn’t much of an appearance but a photo of Liesl was used in a NowPublic article about a website about Cute Things Falling Asleep which has become so popular as to be mentioned on CNN (although one must argue that CNN is not popular enough to be mentioned on Cute Things Falling Asleep while SGL’s standards are lower and both were mentioned here.)

Oreo woke me up at seven this morning needing an emergency trip outside.  Nothing like waking up and immediately having to run outside in your pajamas in bare feet to take the dog out to pee while all of the neighbours are getting onto the road to head to the train station.

Work was fairly busy today.  Nothing unexpected.

It is all ice and rain here in Peekskill today.  Oreo is not happy.  Taking him for a walk involves a treacherous slide down to the driveway.  The grass is so laden with ice that it is difficult to walk anywhere safely and it hurts our little boy’s feet.  We are very glad that we do not have to drive anywhere today.

I put in a lot of time working on getting stuff converted to h.264 today and to getting things working with the AppleTV.  As far as I can tell, though, the AppleTV and/or iTunes is completely overwhelmed by the volume of content that I am attempting to pump through it (which is not that much, in reality) and it simply cannot handle it as the menus on the AppleTV just will not update to display the new content.  It is very depressing.  So much work has gone into this solution just to find out now that the system fails silently without any errors, warnings, notices or anything.  Another great Apple product – missing interface components and no means of repairing the problem that we cannot even identify.

So, since Apple can’t make iTunes function properly or reliably, we are looking into other solutions.  The first thing to try is a UPnP AV Mediaserver solution such as TVersity which will make the h.264 collection visible to the PS3, XBOX360 and any other device that supports the protocol.  We are going to get this to work one way or another.

I got TVersity installed today and the PS3 is able to see our media without any problem but when I go to actually play something it fails.  We aren’t sure what the problem is but I do not have time to look into it today.  I am hoping that the issue is not with the media but just with the speed at which we are currently able to deliver data to the PS3 (the SAN device that I use is insanely slow so that could be the problem – it is designed for large, cheap near-line storage and not for high-speed access.)

I got to play a tiny bit of Oblivion and Final Fantasy III today but very little.  Dominica did not get to play anything at all.  She has been working her way through Blue Dragon which is a very large game, three DVDs, for the XBOX 360.

This evening we continued watching the third season of Dr. Who via Netflix.  Tomorrow Dominica has a doctor’s appointment at two as a follow up to her surgery just to see how everything is going.  Hopefully the weather will be good for her to drive.  It would be very impractical for me to drive her down to the appointment since it would mean packing up Liesl and Oreo twice and doing twice as much driving and pulling me away from work in the middle of the afternoon for an hour or more.  It would be so much, in fact, that we would never get out of the car but would just drive around or sit somewhere while she was at the appointment and wait for her to finish since getting them both in and out of the car would take so long.

We finally ordered our new LCD television for the living room today.  We got a Samsung 52″ LCD.  Nothing fancy, pretty much the bottom of the line but it will work fine for our purposes.  It will be much, much bigger than our current 32″ Westinghouse and should be brighter, have better constrast and has twice the resolution (1080p rather than 720p.)  We expect it to really make the living room a lot more comfortable for us.  For example, because of the low contrast, small size and low resolution I find myself standing directly in front of the current television to be able to see small items on the ground in Fable.  Hopefully with the new screen I will be able to stay in my chair.  We are hoping that it will be delivered next week.  We were able to pay for the entire television, including tax, from our refund money from Eleven80 and still be able to put over $100 into our investments from the refund money (refund of our initial deposit that we made when we signed the contract in August or September of 2006.)

The old, 32″ LCD then is going to move up to our bedroom for the time being where it is going to be mounted onto the wall opposite the bed so that we can watch stuff from bed just like we used to be able to do when we lived at Eleven80.  We got used to having that setup very quickly and now we really miss it.  It will really be great for Dominica who is stuck rocking Liesl a lot up in the bedroom but has nothing to do but to stare at the wall.  Eventually we plan to get a nice, large LCD for our bedroom too and then the 32″ will move into the nursery as a guest television (we constantly have guests staying in the nursery) and then eventually to be Liesl’s own television once she is a little older and watching stuff.

November 28, 2008: Liesl Turns One Day Old

Dominica is no longer pregnant; we have had our baby!

At eleven last night, after Liesl had gone off to sleep and Dominica was just being monitored after her surgery, we decided that there was no benefit to me staying at the hospital through the night and that there was almost no chance of me being able to get any sleep at all if I was to stay there with Dominica so I drove home.  It was a very good thing that I went home since I was home and in bed, snuggled with Oreo, well before midnight.  Dominica wasn’t even moved to the new post-partum room until midnight or later and she was interrupted all night long.  She said that I would not have slept at all.  As it was I was able to get six hours or more of sleep and Oreo was very thankful to have his dad with whom to snuggle.

Liesl Has a Lot to Tell Grandma

I got up at six thirty this morning and went into the hospital at seven.  At seven thrity Liesl was being examed by her intensive care pediatrician to see how she is doing today.  I went in and spent the early morning with Dominica who got no sleep at all last night.  She has now been almost completely awake for four nights!  It is amazing that she is functioning at all.

Dominica was actually feeling pretty good this morning.  She has been recovering well from the surgery.  She was surprisingly spunky this morning (although still tied to her operating bed.)

The pediatrician came in at almost nine to talk to us about Liesl.  The results from this morning’s blood work showed that her antibody count had risen which meant that there was a pretty decent chance that she was battling, in some form, Group B Streptococcus (Strep B) which is the most common cause of sepsis and meningitis in newborns.  Her levels had risen in comparison with the levels that they saw last night.

The bottom line at this point is that Liesl is in a high risk category for sepsis or meningitis and additional steps need to be taken to protect her.  So far there is no sign of an actual infection only signs pointing towards the possibility of one, but it would be very risky to simply assume that nothing is wrong.  So, unfortunately, Liesl had to have a spinal tap this morning so that they could draw fluid and determine whether or not there is a brain infection currently.

Dominica and I were, understandably, very upset to find out that Liesl had to have a spinal tap.  What a way to enter the world – long labor, c-section, seperated from your parents, hooked up to monitors since birth and now a spinal tap.  Not to mention the regular blood draws.  It’s been a rough twelve hours for our little girl.

Since it is black Friday I went online to Amazon and took advantage of their online sale.  There is only so much stuff that we need or want but I looked around and found a good deal on Transformers on BluRay as well as an item that I have been wanting to get for Dominica for Christmas.  So I have that item out of the way now.

Around noon we got word that the preliminary results from the spinal tap show no infection.  The preliminaries are hardly conclusive, however.  So Liesl has to stay on antibiotics until Sunday when we will get the culture results from the spinal tap.  Until then we will continue to worry even though she looks very healthy and the preliminaries have all been clean.

Dominica got cleared to be able to feed Liesl on demand late this morning which was a huge relief.  They have barely seen each other yet except for one brief feeding last night just when Dominica’s parents and I left the hospital.  The two of them got to spend a lot of time together today.  Our “hotel” room at the hospital, room 212, is right next door to the nursery making visiting really easy.

Dominica made a lot of recovery today from her surgery.  By noon she was even walking which is pretty amazing.

I set up shop in the hospital with my laptop and got logged into the office so that I could work.  It is the Friday after Thanksgiving which is one of the slowest work days of the year.  It is almost a four day weekend.  The market is only open for a half day today.  Unfortunately I am scheduled for quite a bit of late work this evening so I actually have more to do hours after everyone else has left than most anyone else has all day, and I am scheduled to work tomorrow morning as well as eight in the morning.

I finally managed to get the first 59 pictures of Liesl posted to Flickr this afternoon.  The only picture of our little girl that has gone out yet is one single image taken with Dominica’s mother’s phone that she txt messaged out to one or two people with phones that could accept the image.  Mine is not one of them.  I have not seen that picture yet.  Everyone in my family had to wait until I had a chance to upload the pictures that were on our Kodak digicam today almost a full day after Liesl was born.

I got to hold Liesl while she slept for a full hour before I left the hospital at four thirty to come home and do the evening deployments.  My laptop’s right “mouse button” is broken and that makes many tasks nearly impossible.  I need to have a mouse with me at all time when using the laptop.

I worked quite a bit this evening.  Much more than I had been expecting.  I ended up putting in a good portion of the day starting after five in the evening.  I am also scheduled to work again tomorrow morning so I have to be in bed early tonight so that I have a chance to get some sleep.

While I was working Dominica’s parents went over to the hospital to see Dominica before visiting hours were over.  I am not bound by visiting hours but everyone else is.  They got back to the house at eight thirty and then we headed out to get dinner.

I took the time to collect the Twitter transcripts from this past week starting with dad leaving Peekskill and going through all twenty seven hours of the labor process, the surgery, recovering and up until Liesl was free to feed today and things were as “normal” as they were going to be until she and her mother get to come home.  Amazingly, I posted approximately 1,100 words during that time window almost all of which were posted via a BlackBerry keyboard and most of which were cross-posted to FaceBook.  We had a lot of people following allow in one place or another.  SGL alone registered approximately one hundred additional readers during the days that Dominica was in the hospital and about as many were checking on us through FaceBook.

We had dinner at New City Diner in Yorktown Heights.  After dinner I went back over to the hospital for a little more than an hour.  I timed it pretty perfectly so that I arrived while Liesl was in the middle of a feeding so she and Dominica were awake.  Dominica still hasn’t slept since around Monday!  So I got to visit with them while Liesl was eating and then I got to hold her for a while once she was done.  I even got a chance to change my first diaper.

I left the hospital a little past eleven.  I was very exhausted.  Oreo was, of course, very excited to see me.  I came in the door and he ran to meet me.  I looked at him and said “Bed time?”  He looked up the stairs and then looked back at me.  I said “Yes”, and he turned and went straight up stairs and got into bed.

Twitter Transcripts from Thanksgiving

After losing tons of audio posts when using a third party podcasting system a few years ago I have become very gunshy about keeping anything really important on any system other than one that I own myself.  Since my Twitter feed has become so critical (I am still thinking about moving that to a system that I host myself rather than using Twitter) I decided that it would make sense to copy over the transcripts from Dominica’s labor process this week so that we would always have them.  The blog itself is interesting but seeing the “as it happens” transcripts will be really neat for Liesl someday to see what we were saying just hours before she was born.

This transcript starts with dad leaving Peekskill after having been on “baby watch” for over a week on November 26 at 11:00am.  It ends in the early afternoon today, the 28th.

Liesl is having her third feeding with Dominica right now. She is doing very well. about 6 hours ago from web

Preliminary results from the blood work and spinal tap show Liesl as being clear. 48 hours until the final results but good for now. about 8 hours ago from web

Liesl has been cleared to “feed on demand” which is very positive. about 10 hours ago from web

Dominica just finished her first meal since the operation. Still on fluids but feeling a little better. Still four nights without sleep! about 10 hours ago from web

Annie says, “It’s like candy for your bowels that help you fart.” I just had to relay that quote! about 11 hours ago from web

Dominica is eating her first meal since surgery. She is recovering well, but is quite sad about Liesl having to be tested already. about 11 hours ago from web

Liesl has symptoms of infection. Bloodwork wasn’t great. She has to have a spinal tap now to see if she has an infection in her brain. about 11 hours ago from TwitterBerry

Back at the hospital. Dominica is doing well. Waiting for our doctor appointment. about 13 hours ago from TwitterBerry

Dominica sent me home to sleep. Have to be back early in the morning. Oreo was so excited to see me! about 21 hours ago from TwitterBerry

@kweenkmatt thanks. You will have to come visit soon! about 23 hours ago from TwitterBerry in reply to kweenkmatt

Dominica and Liesl are hanging out at the hospital recovering. Min’s parents and I are at new city diner getting food. about 23 hours ago from TwitterBerry

Liesl’s birthday: november 27th, 2008 at 6:54pm 7:39 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

It’s a girl!! Announcing Liesl Lee Miller. 7lbs 11oz. 20inches 7:28 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

It is surgery time. 6:30 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

If all goes well in surgery, dominica can come home on sunday. 5:59 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Progression failed. Going to c section now. Baby is fine. Phone is about to die.   5:55 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica has now been in labor for 26 hours. 5:29 PM Nov 27th from web

FB-IMing with Clare in London. Live chat and blogging from the delivery room! LOL 5:29 PM Nov 27th from web

I’ve moved from my BlackBerry to Twittering from my laptop set up in the birthing room at the foot of Dominica’s bed. 5:25 PM Nov 27th from web

Dominica is napping now. In theory she will sleep for another hour to an hour and a half and then we should see something get going. 5:23 PM Nov 27th from web

Epidural is working. Dominica is feeling so much better. 4:24 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Pitosin is working but the pain is incredible. Epidural happening now. 4:05 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica is on iv drip pain killers now. Doesmnt stop the pain but she is starting to relax between contractions. 3:00 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica is starting pitocin now. We are having problems progressing. C section is a very real possibility very soon. 2:20 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Midwife and nurses are prepping for delivery. Might be very soon. 1:03 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Lunch is free today at the hosp. Having a lite thanksgiving dinner here. 12:10 PM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

There was meconium present so the head monitor (that corkscrews into the scalp) has to be attached. 11:50 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Water just broke. 7-8 cm. Real progress now! 11:30 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Tried to get food but the hospital caf has nothing. Literally nothing. I guess that they are closed at 11:15 am!!! 11:25 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominicas parents will be here soon to take over so that I can get a bite to eat. 11:07 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Dominica is napping. She is completely exhausted. No sleep in days. 10:18 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

And the doppler system predicts…. High chance of baby today. (Doppler is used to listen to the baby.) 9:50 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Showering seems to help but all of the steam makes it way too warm. 9:40 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

6 cm now. Moving forward well. 8:54 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

5 cm dilated now. Progressing well. Dominica is really holding up. 6:49 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Happy anniversary to bennie and francesca   6:31 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Midwife predicts that the baby will arrive by noon – less that six more hours. Contractions have been going on for 14hrs already. 6:23 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Happy tofurkey day! 4:35 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Nurse says that we are staying this time. This is the real thing. Currently 3-4 cm. Doing well. Show time. 4:17 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Okay, found someone to let me in. We are in room 4. Same room that we had on Monday – we know this room well. Min is having tests now. 4:15 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

I am locked out of maternity…. Can’t get to dominica. 4:12 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Getting ready to head on out to the hospital to try this baby thing again. 3:03 AM Nov 27th from TwitterBerry

Heading to bed. No baby on the 26th. Will try to get some rest before the labor really starts. Dominica is very uncomfortable. 10:51 PM Nov 26th from web

@kweenkmatt At $1.57, I believe that once you adjust for inflation this is the cheapest gasoline in history – beating the 1999 prices! 10:17 PM Nov 26th from web in reply to kweenkmatt

Contractions are speeding up. Very likely going to the hospital in the next few hours. Thanksgiving looks to have been a good guess. 8:33 PM Nov 26th from TwitterBerry

Baby is progressing. Might be off to the hospital again in a few hours. 8:07 PM Nov 26th from TwitterBerry

@ClintonSkakun Yay, tofurkey day! 7:03 PM Nov 26th from web in reply to ClintonSkakun

Dominica’s contractions are pretty constant now. Every few minutes. 7:02 PM Nov 26th from web

@_calla_lily_ Have fun in Columbia. New baby by the time that you get back! Westchester Population + 1 7:02 PM Nov 26th from web in reply to _calla_lily_

Dad arrived home safely. No snow until Dansville. Toccos have now arrived in Peekskill. 6:01 PM Nov 26th from web

Check at the midwife’s went well. 2cm dilated and progressing appropriately. No schedule yet 😉 3:46 PM Nov 26th from web

Dominica’s appointment is done. No news. Going to pick her up now. 2:59 PM Nov 26th from web

Just did the dishes and finished off unpacking another box. Minor house progress. 2:55 PM Nov 26th from web

Dad is in Elmira. No baby news so he is continuing on towards home. 2:53 PM Nov 26th from web

Dominica’s dr appt got pushed back. She has to wait until 2 just to get in but is already sitting there just reading a book. 1:09 PM Nov 26th from web

Dad just left for his long drive back home. Dominica’s dr appt is in two hours.   11:10 AM Nov 26th from web